Rasa Jala Nidhi, vol 1: Initiation, Mercury and Laboratory

by Bhudeb Mookerjee | 1938 | 67,774 words | ISBN-10: 8170305829 | ISBN-13: 9788170305828

This first volume of the Rasa-jala-nidhi includes preliminary information on Alchemy including initiation of a discpiple, laboratory setup, mercurial operations and commonly used technical terms. The Rasa-jala-nidhi (“the ocean of Iatrochemistry, or, chemical medicine) is a compendium of Sanskrit verses dealing with ancient Indian alchemy and chem...

Part 18 - Mercurial operations (16): Incineration of mercury (bhasmikarana)

The first three processes.

Mercury, properly killed by one of the foregoing processes may be reduced to ashes, (a) if burnt by putapaka, after being rubbed with the oil of apamarga or with the juice of puskaramula and tanduliaka (tandulika?), or with white hingu previously saturated with the milk of kaka-udumbara and dried; or (b) if heated with cow’s urine and drona-flower on a pot made of kanta-iron; or (c) if rubbed with the oils of kanguni and black dhattura, and burnt by putapaka.

Fourth process.

Dead mercury may be solidified in one of the following processes:—

(a) It is to be rubbed (with ashes of baikranta, if possible, and) with castor-oil, put inside a candle made of the fibres of a lotus stem, and burnt for three hours.

(b) It is to be put inside a paste made of bandhya and anantamulam, and heated by means of a Bhudhara-yantra.

(c) It is to be rubbed with chapala, and juice of nirgundi or with rasaka, and burnt by means of a Bhudhara-yantra.

(d) A dead mercury wrapped up in a piece of cloth, saturated with sulphur and juice of Barahi kanda or chakramarda, and boiled with gandhakataila (See under gandhaka, in Vol. II).

Dead mercury, solidified by one of the three foregoing processes, may be reduced to ashes—(a) if mixed with gandhaka, equal or double in quantity, and burnt in a samputa made of two kanta iron basins; or (b) if mixed with the same quantity of gandhaka and one-third its quantity of parpati made of kanta iron, rubbed with the juice of the drugs which control mercury, and then burnt in iron samputa; or (c) if rubbed with one-fourth its weight of sulphur and the juice of the controlling drugs, and burnt in an iron-samputa by means of a charcoal fire.

Fifth process.

Dead mercury is to be rubbed with the juice of nagesvara, barahikanda, and ghritakumari, and put inside a paste made of garlic. This is then to be put inside an iron crucible, having a hole and having its inner surface painted well with sulphur, one-fourth in weight of the mercury, rubbed with the juice of nirgundi. This crucible is then to be placed inside a bigger iron crucible, twelve angulis in length, and furnished with a cover. This bigger crucible is to be kept suspended at the mouth of a vessel containing water which is to be placed on fire made of khadira wood. Upon the basin which is to serve as the cover of the water vessel, will have to be made a fire made of cowdung, found dried in pasture grounds. In this way, sulphur, eight times in weight of the mercury, is to be consumed. Mercury, thus incinerated (bhasmikarana), has the effect of curing Pthisis and leprosy.

Incineration without killing mercury. Sixth process.

Mercury is incinerated, if put inside a paste made of seeds of apamarga and of lotus, well powdered, and then confined within a crucible and burnt steadily.

Seventh process.

Mercury is to be rubbed, and brought to a state of swoon, by being rubbed for seven times, with debadali and blue aparajita, rubbed with kanji. The mercury is then to be put upon an earthen basin, and heated for one day, the liquid referred to above being applied all the time. Mercury will thus be reduced to ashes of the appearance of salt

Eighth process.

Mercury is reduced to ashes, if put in a crucible with seeds of apamarga and eranda, finely powdered placed above and below it, and burnt by laghuputa for four times.

Ninth process.

Mercury and mica are to be rubbed for nine hours with the milk of a banian tree, and burnt by means of a kosthika-yantra. Thus is mercury reduced to ashes.

Tenth process.

Mercury is reduced to ashes, if rubbed with the juice of pan (betel leaf), put inside the tuber of karkoti, and burnt in a mud crucible.

Eleventh process.

Cow’s ghee, sulphur, and mercury are to be rubbed together, and made into a ball which is to be put inside a kanya leaf, and placed in a kanta iron samputa, the leaf bang immered in cow’s urine. This samputa is to be burnt by laghuputa for three times. The mercury will then be reduced to ashes, if confined within a blind crucible, and burnt.

Twelfth process.

Mercury is reduced to ashes, if mixed with the powdered jarayu of a cow which has brought forth its young for the first time, and burnt in a blind crucible, the inner surface of which has been painted with a paste made of the ripe fruits, duly purified, of shaka (teak) tree, rubbed with the milk of arka.

Thirteenth process.

A hole is to be made into a strong, big and circular ball, made of sulphur, into which is to he put mercury, the hole being closed hermetically by a piece of sulphur smelted by means of a heated iron stick. Care should be taken to see that there is no hole anywhere on the surface of the ball, which is now to be wrapped up carefully with a network of thread, and boiled by means of a Dolayantra for twelve hours. The mercury is then to be taken out of the ball, and put, as before, into another sulphur ball, and again heated in the foregoing manner. The heating is to continue for seven days incessantly. Mercury thus heated, will be reduced to ashes, and will assume the appearance of an emerald. This mercury cures all sorts of diseases.

Fourteenth process.

Powdered brick, gairika (red ochre), mud raised by white ants, and saindhava—all of these are to be mixed in equal quantities, and powdered very fine. Three parts of this powder and two parts of mercury are to be rubbed together steadily and put inside an earthen vessel, with small pieces of earthen pots placed on all sides. With the mouth of the vessel will have to be joined, by means of mud and rags, the mouth of another vessel. The apparatus is then to be subjected to continuous heat for forty-eight hours, applied both from the top as well as from an oven upon which it is to be kept all the time. By this process the mercury will be reduced to ashes, as white as camphor, and will attach to the inner surface of the upper vessel. It cures all sorts of diseases, increases longevity, and serves as an excellent tonic.

Fifteenth process.

Mercury, six palas in weight, is to be rubbed for three hours with each of the following—juices of the kernel of the ankola fruit, eranda, plantain tree, bhringaraja, kakamachi, dhatura leaves, bhendapatri[1], tanduliyaka, kanya leaves, powdered brick, kanji, decoction of the triphala; juices of kantalika, devadali, chapala, gokshura, chitraka, sehunda, chinchika, mushakarni, atarusha, kalihari and gandadurba. The mercury is then to be rubbed, for several times, in a hot mortar with lime juice, with which the mercury is again to be subjected to bhabana for several times. Next, are to be procured two earthen basins, uniform in size, and strong. One of these is to be painted all over with a paste made of powdered leaves of the plants which can control mercury. Five different kinds of mud (viz., brick, gairika, salt, kshra, and mud created by white ants), are to be placed in this basin with a hole being made in the mud. Pour the juice of simbika leaves and dhatura leaves into the hole. Prepare a crucible and put it into the hole. Put mercury into the crucible with one seer in weight of the juice of simbi leaves. The crucible is to be covered with a basin containing small holes. By the side of the mercury are to be placed broken pieces of new earthen pots. The other basin is now to be got. This should be painted with the juice of kanya leaves and with powdered nabasara. The basins are now to be joined with each other, and to be placed on fire, which is to be kindled on all sides of the basins. The heating is to last for forty-eight hours Continuously, leading to the incineration of the mercury. The ashes, so produced, resemble sometimes a diamond, sometimes a parpatica, sometimes camphor, sometimes smeltep (smelted?) silver, and sometimes the moon. For the cure of fever, one rati of this ash is to be taken with powdered maricha and molasses. It should be used with pippali in aversion to food; with mocharasa in grahani with powdered bilwa in Atisara (diarrhoea); with the decoction of the triphala in pandu (jaundice); with the juice of bhargi in kasa (cough) and svasa (asthma). This is a very good medicine, giving strength, long life, and beauty to the man who takes it regularly.

Sixteenth process.

Mercury is to be rubbed in a mortar with shyama kundalika, castor seeds, and juice of dhatura leaves, and then put inside a crucible with the five muds (see the foregoing process). The inner side of the upper part of the crucible is to be painted with the juice off kukkuradru. The crucible is then to be closed very tightly and put upon fire for one night. When cooled, the mercury is again to be heated with curd water, and then washed off with water. The mercury, thus incinerated, is to be taken with masha and pan leaf, or with sugar, or with honey. Eight virgins are to be duly worshipped before one commences taking this medicine. It cures all sorts of diseases, such as drowsiness, lethargy, inertness, diseases of the ear, inflammation, shaking, swoon, nausea, diarrhoea, vocal diseases, chronic dyspepsia, diseases of the mouth and the eyes, gonorrhoea, obesity pthisis, etc.

Seventeenth process.

The five different parts of an akhukarni plant (viz. its root, stem, bark, leaves, and flowers), and an equal quantity of gunja are to be rubbed together, and the juice extracted by means of a rag. Exhausted mercury is to be rubbed with this juice for one day, and kept in the mortar for seven days. Then it is to be rubbed well for six hours with the two drugs referred to above. The upper part of the inner surface of an earthen vessel is to be painted with a paste made of those two drugs. Mercury is to be put into the vessel, the mouth of which is to be covered tightly with a basin, mud, rags etc. The vessel is then to be placed on fire, neither mild nor strong, for thirty six hoars. When cooled, the ashes-of mercury, red as morning sun, are to be taken out.

Eighteenth process.

Mercury previously rubbed with the juice of lajjalu, is to be rubbed again in a mortar with hingu, and juice of atasi, put inside a crucible, and heated by means of a mild but steady fire. This will cause the reduction of mercury to pure ashes which can be further purified by being mixed with honey, clarified butter, and tankana, and heated.

Nineteenth process.

Mercury and half its quantity of tankana are to be rubbed for five days with the juices of nimbu (lemon) and minakshi, and made into pills five mashas in weight. These pills are to be dried, placed in a wooden pot, coated with powdered brick, and then again dried by being exposed to a scorching sun. These pills are now to be put inside a crucible, placed upon a charcoal fire, and heated steadily. Mercury, thus reduced to ashes, cures diseases affecting the mouth and throat. Contact with water makes this mercury assume the colour of gold. If again heated, it is solidified, turns white, strengthens the body, and increases longevity.

Twentieth process.

Saindhava, torika (tubari), mercury, kasisa, and juice of lakucha—all these are to be steadily rubbed together in a mortar for three days, and then put into an earthen vessel, tightly closed and heated for three days by a fire made of wood fuel. Mercury will thus be reduced to white ashes. This should be taken early in the morning (dose, one rati only). It increases appetite, improves eye sight, strengthens the body, and makes the system free from diseases.

Twenty-first process.

Mercury is to be robbed constantly for one day with nagarju, a well-known species of dugdhika. Then, it is to be rubbed with kakamachi. This mercury, ten tankas in weight, and an equal quantity of gandhaka and narasara:—all these three are to be rubbed together and put inside a glass bottle, the mouth of which is to be tightly closed. The bottle is then to be heated for twenty-four hours by means of a baluka-yantra. Thus are prepared ashes of mercury, as red as the morning sun. This mercury cures all sorts of diseases very soon. It prevents premature old age and is a very good aphrodisiac. Dose, five ratis a day.

Twenty-second process.

Mercury, if rubbed in a mortar with the juice of the five different parts of chitraka, barbari, and shivalingi and thus made into a lump and then properly subjected to heat, is reduced to a red powder.

Twenty-third process.

Mercury is to be rubbed steadily with the juice of nagaballi, and put inside a crucible made of tuber -of a karkati creeper, and burnt by gajaputa. This ash serves to heighten the efficacy of a medicine with which it is mixed, and may therefore be applied in ail sorts of diseases with proper ampana.

Twenty-fourth process.

Mercury is to be rubbed for sometime with the milk of kashtha-udumbara. Two crucibles are to be made of hingu already saturated with the same milk and dried. The mercury is now to be put inside these two crucibles, joined with each other, and kept inside another crucible made of mud, and tightly covered. This is now to be burnt by gajaputa, which will cause the reduction of mercury to ashes.

Twenty-fifth process.

Mercury and mica are to be rubbed together for six hours with the milk of bata (banyan tree), and burnt inside a samputa by a fire made of banyan wood. This will result in the incineration of mercury.

Characteristics of dead mercury

Incinerated mercury is devoid of lustre. It is light, white, killer of metals, devoid of subtleness, and it does not sublimate, if placed upon fire.

Consumption of mercury

Incinerated mercury, if taken with pippali, maricha, shunthi, bhargi, and honey, cures cough, asthma, and colic. It purifies the blood, if taken with turmeric and sugar. It cures jaundice and anaemia, if taken with trikatu, triphala, and the juice of basaka. It is to be used in stricture with shilajatu, elachi, and sugar-candy. Labanga, jatipatri, hingula, akalankara, pippali, bhanga—all of these are to be taken in equal quantities, and in one eighth the quantity of each of these is to be taken camphor, and nagakeshara is to be taken half of lavanga etc.—all of these are to be rubbed together and taken with incinerated mercury for the purpose of increasing the dhatus.[2]

Incinerated mercury cures all sorts of fever, if taken with, sauvarchala salt, labanga, bhunimba, and haritaki. It serves as a purgative, if taken with sauvarchala salt, and triphala. It increases the dhatus, if taken with labanga, and betel leaf. It may also be taken with the powdered bidarikanda, for the same purpose. It cures vomiting, if taken with bhanga and jamani. It cures all sorts of diseases relating to the belly, stomach, and abdomen, if taken with sauvarchala salt, haridra, bhanga, and jamani. It kills worms, if taken with chaturballi, palasha seeds, an double their quantity of molasses. It cures all sorts of diarrhoea, if taken with opium, labanga-hingula, and bhanga. It cures loss of appetite, if taken with sauvarchala salt and jamani.

Incinerated mercury cures all sorts of ailments due to the predominance of pitta, if taken with sugar and amalaki. It cures all sorts of ailments due to the predominance of vayu, if taken with pippali.

It cures all sorts of ailments due to the predominance of phlegm, if taken with ginger juice. It cures fever, if taken with lemon juice. It cures all the ailments due to the impurities of the blood, if taken with honey. It cures dysentery, blood discharges in general, and diarrhoea, if taken with tanduliyaka.

Use of the ashes of mercury.

The ashes of mercury can cure every disease, if taken with that particular anupana (accompaniment), specially efficacious in that disease. It cures fever, if taken with the decoction of musta and parpati. It cures a fever due to an abnormal excess of the three doshas i.e. (typhoid and similar fevers), if taken with the decoction of dasamula and powdered pippali. It cures raktapitta, if taken with honey and powdered haritaki or with the juice of vasaka and powdered pippali. It cures kasa or kapha, if taken with the decoction of kantakari and powdered pippali. It cures consumption and pthisis, if taken with ghee and pippali, already, boiled with goat’s milk, dried and powdered, or with the triphala, gandhaka, trikatu, and old molasses.

The ashes of mercury cure hiccough, if taken with sauvarchala salt, the juice of bijapura, and honey. It cures vomiting and inflammation, if taken with honey, sugar, fried paddy, mudga, and sugar water.

It cures piles, if taken with shurana, burnt by puta, and mixed with oil and rock salt. It cures diarrhoea, if taken with the decoction of the bark and blossoms of a kshiri tree, mixed with butter water. It cures cholera, if taken with pippali and hingu. It cures indigestion, if taken with kanji or with powdered haritaki, and decoction of the root of eranda, It cures an awful bimbisi, if taken with the decoction of blossoms of a kshiri tree, dried bilba fruit (unripe), and shunthi, mixed with molasses. It cures mutrakrichhra, if taken with the decoction of dried bilva fruit, inner part of a karkatica fruit, and masura, or with milk and gokshura, or with milk and honey.

Incinerated mercury, silajatu, pippali, mandura, tripbala, akuli seeds, svarna-makshika, haridra, gandhaka, kanta iron, trikatu,—all of these are to be taken in equal quantities, powdered, and then mixed and subjected to bhavana for twenty times. This medicine, if taken in the morning with honey, cures twenty different kinds of gonorrhoea and spermatorrhoea.

Incinerated mercury cures enlargement of the spleen and gulma, if taken with the decoction of nyagrodhadi or ashanadi, mixed with haritaki, rasona and cow’s urine. It cures pacti-sulam, if taken with the juice of peas mixed with the kshara of conch shell. It cures amasula, if taken with the decoction of tila, mixed with the trikatu.

Incinerated mercury cures udara-roga, if taken with powdered haritaki, previously subjected to bhavana with butter, aconite, and kshara. It cures jaundice, if taken with the decoction of jastimadhu. It cures sotha attended with anaemia, if taken with the decoction of triphala. It cures sotha, if taken with the decoction of shunthi and bhunimba, mixed with cow’s urine, nimba, amalaki, and kankustha.

Oil is to be prepared with rasona, rajika, chitraka, nili (indigo), bhringaraja leaves, and an equal quantity of bhallataka. Ghrita is also to be prepared with bhusirisa, and the five important parts (viz root, bark, flower, leaves, and fruits) of nagakeshara,—A man suffering from leprosy should take every day in due doses the oil and the ghrita, mixed with honey and ashes of mercury, and should also apply powdered trikatu all over his body, or anoint it with mustard oil, mixed with mercury and sulphur, both purified.

A leper may also take every day honey, well rubbed with gold reduced to ashes, and with dead mercury, previously subjected to bhavana with karpura balli, nimba oil, and juice of patala-muli. He should also take every day phenila fruit, ahi, and tuber of darvi, and get himself rubbed all over his body with the root of phenila tree. Leprosy is to be cured in this manner.

A man is cured of kilasa, if he takes one part of dead mercury, and two parts of each of the following;—chitraka, banari, kakatundi, bakuchi—all rubbed well with cow’s urine, and also takes some butter milk every day.

Leucoderma or white leprosy is cured very soon, if the patient lives on rice with milk, and takes the ashes of mercury with the following as anupana (or accompaniment):—essence of mica, marubaka, somaraji, talamuli, ijjala, jatamansi, rasanjana, shunthi, bhringaraja, maricha, dhava tree, karpura, chitraka root, ankola seeds, haridra, tila, guduchi, bark of shakhotaka tree, and the triphala (all rubbed, of course, with honey. Dose of the accompaniment—one fourth of a tola in all).

Dead mercury kills worms, if taken with blossoms of nimba. It kills all sorts of diseases due to an excess of bayu (air), if taken with oil, boiled with garlic. It cures gridhrasi (sciatica), if taken with milk boiled with shunthi (dried ginger), and the root of castor tree. It cures bata-rakta, if taken with molasses, haritaki, and decoction of guduchi. It cures obesity, if taken with the trikatu, triphala, bidanga, each equal in quantity, plus purified guggulu, equal in quantity to all these three combined—all rubbed with a sufficient quantity of castor oil. It may also be taken with water mixed with honey for the same purpose. It cures thinness, if taken with sugar. It cures insanity and hysteria, if taken with ghrita (clarified butter) boiled with hingu, sauvarchala salt, the trikatu, and cow’s urine. It also cures the same diseases, if used as a collyrium after being mixed with madhuka, manassila, rasanjana, and the stool of pigeon.

Falling in of hairs in the eye-lids is cured by the application of killed mercury, rubbed with oil prepared with one-eighth its quantity of the following three, combined and rubbed with kanji:—

Pippali, seeds of karpasa and karamarda. All sorts of eye diseases are cured, if dead mercury, already subjected to bhavana with bhallataka and rubbed with the following is used as a collyrium:—barbura, blossoms of nimba, burnt goat’s stool, killed kansya, kokilakshya, manasila, and human milk. The patient, in this case, after taking the collyrium, is to have his whole body well rubbed with oil, and then take a bath. Dead mercury cures timira (loss of eye-sight) and kacha (cataract), if used as a collyrium mixed with the following:—Mahabheri roots, asvagandha, hingupatri, bodhi, kola, and lime juice. Dead mercury cures all sorts of diseases pertaining to the rectum, by external application, when rubbed with oil extracted out of ghosha fruits, previously subjected to bhavana with the milk of arka.

The triphala, patola root, the trikatu, guduchi, bidanga seeds, and guggulu, equal in quantity to all of the foregoing combined—all of these taken together, cure carbuncle, if mixed with dead mercury. The juice of mulaka, mixed with the ointment just mentioned, cures granthi. Cocoanut water, mixed with killed mercury, cures measles, and small pox.

Dead mercury, mixed with oil and the juices of cotton leaves and anantamula, cures Osteomyelitis, or discharge of a liquid substance through a particular part of a bone, and cures poisons of all sorts, organic and inorgonic. The same purpose is served if dead mercury is mixed with rice water,[3] juice of tanduliyaka, or satabari, and used either as a drink, or as a snuff, or as, an unguent.

Dead mercury, taken in one rati with curd and camphor, previously subjected to bhavana with the juice of cowdung, cures all sorts of poison, organic, inorganic, and artificial.

Gold, killed with incinerated lead and incinerated mercury, destroys senility, if taken for six months with the juice of satabari. The same purpose is served by taking the triphala, already subjected to bhavana with the decoctions of khadira and asana, respectively, and mixed with incinerated gold and incinerated mercury. One can live an incredibly long life, if one takes every day regularly, mercury, killed with sulphur, and kanta iron, killed with the juice of amalaki, mixed together with the triphala. Chitraka roots, the triphala, bhringaraja, haridra, anjana leaves, killed mercury, clarified butter, sugar, and honey—all these taken together, serve to remove senility and ugliness of appearance.

Senility is destroyed by dead mercury, previously subjected to bhavana with the herbs having the power of controlling mercury, if taken with sugar, milk, honey, water, and clarified butter, all rubbed together with incinerated gold, one fourth in quantity of the mercury, taking of this medicine being followed by the patient drinking some milk, boiled in a kanta iron pot.

Vajrapanjara rasa.

Incinerated diamond and an equal quantity of killed mercury are to be rubbed with the juice of hansapadi and burnt by putapaka. The product is then to be rubbed again with an equal quantity of killed mercury and burnt in the same manner. This ash is then to be rubbed for some time with kanji for coating the surface of four times its weight of gold leaf to be killed in the usual manner. The product, thus obtained, is to be taken with chitraka root, ardraka (ginger), saindhava salt, bacha, and sauvarchala, in doses of half a rajika to be gradually increased to one masha per day, total quantity taken by a patient being one palam. This medicine, called ‘vajra-panjara,’ is a saviour of people overwhelmed with diseases, senility, and impending death.

Panchamrita.

Svarnamakshika, kanta iron, mica, pearls, and diamond, taken in equal quantities, (all purified and reduced to ashes), are to be rubbed for one week with mercury which has already swallowed gold, and with the juice of one of the several herbs known as rasamulikas (or herbs required for mercurial operations), and made into a lump which is to be heated by means of a Yantra (crucible, or samputa, or bhudhara-yantra), The medicine, thus prepared, is called panchamrita. It is more efficacious than the foregoing (i.e., bajrapanjara rasa), if taken with honey and clarified butter.

Take a purgative in the morning, and fast for the whole day. Take some light diet next day, and commence taking mercury from the day after.

Preparations for taking mercury.

One should observe the following rules for one-month, before one commences taking mercury:—The system is to be purified by purgation, vomiting etc., and then, after recovery of strength, the patient is to take every morning powdered pippali, haritaki, shunthi, saindhava, and chitraka root, mixed with tepid water. This will serve to maintain the power of digestion. He is also to take every night, for one month, with a little of pippali, haritaki, honey, and clarified butter, incinerated mica and kanta iron, previously subjected to bhavana with the juice of bhringaraja and amalaki, and confined within an iron samputa, kept in a heap of paddy for some time. This is what is called the kshetrikarana or preparation of the soil.

The soil of a human system is rendered fit for receiving the seed of mercury, after it is soothed, soothingly purged, and freed from ailments. It can be soothed with clarified butter, taken with a little of saindhava, every third day. It can be purged by a purgative called the Ichhavedi-bati. It can be made to vomit by the juice of bacha etc. It can be freed from worms by palasha seeds and bidanga, taken with molasses. It can be freed from minor ailments by such medicines as shringarabhra, lakshmibilasa, etc. which contain a good deal of the essence of mica. It can get strong, after purification, by taking Shali rice

with meat juice of a salutary character. An intelligent man should get himself thus purified and strengthened, before he commences taking mercury for the purpose of removing diseases and senility. The man who takes mercury, without preparing the soil of his physical system in the aforesaid manner, does not derive any benefit from the medicine which rather proves harmful.[4] Only mercury of the fallowing kinds is considered commendable for medicinal use:

(a) Incinerated mercury exhausted with one fourth its quantity of the essence of mica. (b) incinerated mercury exhausted with half its quantity of kanta iron, and (c) incinerated iron exhausted with an equal quantity of steel.

The mercury which does not undergo any change by the application of heat can create gold and silver. Even purified mercury (not incinerated) is competent to cure diseases, if taken in the prescribed manner.

The dose of incinerated mercury exhausted with essence of mica, kanta iron, copper, brass, steel etc. is one gunja or rakti per diem, to be gradually increased to one masha.

Another view.

The dose of incinerated mercury exhausted with gold is one rakti; that of mercury exhausted with silver is two raktis, that of mercury exhausted with copper is three raktis, and that of mercury exhausted with steel, mica, and kanta iron is one masha or 8 raktis per day.

Another view.

For the cure of all sorts of diseases, mercury is to be given in doses of two raktis to a human being, 32 raktis to a horse, and 64 raktis to an elephant

Mercury, solidified with lead, tin, poison, semi poison, urine, or semen, is to he avoided for medicinal purposes. One who takes one pala of incinerated mercury, exhausted with steel or copper, lives a lac of years. If he takes ten palas he lives for a kalpa. One who takes one pala of incinerated mercury, exhausted with gold, lives for one crore of years. It is desirable to take every day one rakti of incinerated mercury, exhausted with gold, and mixed with clarified butter, and honey, and to enjoy betel leaf and the company of a passionate wife, so long as the medicine is taken. There is only one difficulty arising out of taking incinerated mercury, viz, the man gets intoxicated, in three weeks, with sexual desires.

The man gets indigestion, if he avoids all connection with women, at the time he takes incinerated mercury. A sexual intercourse, on the other hand, leads to the waste of semen and proves very dangerous. Such being the case, it is desirable to dally with women without having any sexual intercourse. The taking of incinerated mercury every day, by a yogi who observes absolute celibacy, serves to help him in attaining samadhi (a state of mind in which the individual soul merges itself into the Brahman or the Universal Soul). The mercury is to be taken in the morning, diet being taken just after mid-day. In case of constipation, caused by the medicine, take a decoction of guduchi and pippali, just before going to bed for sleep. Incinerated mercury, taken with a betel leaf, does not give rise to constipation.

The patient is to greet the Rasacharya with the same degree of respect as is due to Mahesvara. He should also welcome the mercury, duly prepared, and kept in pots made of horn, ivory, bamboo reeds, etc. The patient is also to pay his reverences to the gods, cows, and Brahmans and to take the medicine with a piece of betel leaf.

Dietary regulations to be observed at the time of taking mercury.

(1)

The following items of diet are considered salutary to one who takes incinerated mercury:—juice of mudga, milk, clarified butter, shali rice, punarnava, bastu, meghanada, juthika, saindhava salt, pippali, musta, and lotus roots.

The following are considered injurious to the eater of mercury:—

Kushmanda, karkoti, kalinga, karabella, kusumbha, karkati, kalambi, and kakamachi.

The following are salutary to an eater of mercury:—Shall rice, wheat, barley, shastika rice, jangala meat juice, juice of mudga, cow’s milk, daily bath in comfortable water, and dallying with a dear wife, full of youth and beauty.

The following are injurious to an eater of mercury:—anointing the body with mustard oil, taking of kanji, oil, alcohol, curd, kalinga, karbella, things sour in taste, garlic, onions, rye, raddish, pulses, vilba fruit, brinjal, mushrooms, kakamachi, rubbing of

limbs, keeping late hours at night, sleeping in day time, and taking things which are pungent, sour, bitter, saline, and sweet in taste; warm food, ice water, grief, current of air, exposure to the sun, anger, meditation, showing of courage and bravery, and taking of all things which serve to help the incineration of mercury and metals.

The following serve to counteract the effect of mercury (and should therefore not be taken by an eater of mercury, except, of course, betel leaf, a piece of which may be taken with mercury for the purpose of removing constipation):—camphor, chaturjata, kankola, trikatu, jatiphala, and betel leaf.

(2)

The following are to be avoided by one who takes mercury:—Excess of drinking water, excess of food, excess of sleep, excess of avoiding sleep, excess of association with women, walking, excess of anger, laugh, sorrow, and desire; dry conversations, sports in water; excess of thought; commission of sin, staying near animals; going near the junction of two roads, walking over stools and urines; slandering of worthy people and women telling of lies, telling of unpleasant things, taking of kurathva grams, atasi (linseed) oil, tila, masha grams, mashura, pigeons, kanji, food mixed with whay or butter milk, hemachandra, etc, and fowls; taking of things which are pungent, sour, bitter, and saline; things which increase pitta (animal heat) and vayu (quantity of air inside the human system); plums, cocoanuts, mangoes, subarchala salt, nagaranga (oranges), kamaranga, grapes, and sobhanjana, argumentative discussions, going for walks, uncooked rice, camphor, anointing the body with saffron, lying upon the earth, and chastisement of virgins.

The taker of mercury should on no account abstain from food, when hungry, and should also not take any food unless he gets hungry. He should chant the aghora-mantra, if possible, as long as he can.

One who takes mercury should take the following vegetables, duly cooked with clarified butter, saindhava, dhanya, jiraka, and ginger:—tanduliyaka, dhanya, patola, alambusha. He should also take wheat, shali rice of more than one year’s, but less than three year’s standing, cow’s milk, clarified butter, curd, water exposed to the sun during day time and to moonlight during night, juice of mudga, and all good diets in general.

The following are to be avoided by one who takes mercury;—brihati, vilba fruit, kushmanda, the tender part of betas, karbella, masha (bean, horse gram), masura, shmibi, kulattha, sarshapa, tila, fasting, rubbing the body with oil, etc, bathing, fowl’s meat, white mustard, liquors in general, fermented drinks, meat of anupa animals, kanji, taking meal on banana leaf and on bell metal pots, heavy meal, and pungent and hot things.

The under-mentioned articles of food stuff, with the alphabet “K” at the beginning of their names, should also be avoided by one who takes mercury kantakari fruit, kanji, kamatha (tortoise), oil, rye, lemon, kataka (nirmala fruit), kalingaka, kushmanda, karkati, krishna-jira, kukkuta, karabella, karkataka, brinjal, and kapittha.

The following articles of food stuff, also beginning with ‘K’ are to be avoided by one who takes mercury:—kangu, kanduka (betel nut), kola, kukkuta, kalacroda, kulattha, kantari, katu-taila (mustard oil), krishnagala, kurma, kalaya, kana, karkalu, kathillaka, kataka, karkotaka, karkati, krishnajira, and kanji. All these are forbidden by the great Shri Krishna.

How to cure symptoms due to an improper use of mercury.

(1)

If the taking of mercury is followed by a coming out of gases through the alimentary canal, the patient is to be given rice with curd, and black fish cooked with jira. In case of excess of vayu (air) in the system, the body of the patient will have to be anointed with narayana-taila etc. In case of restlessness of mind, cold water will have to be applied on the head. In ease of excess of thirst, tender cocoanut water mixed with sugar and juice of mudga, are to be prescribed. Grapes, pomegranates, dates, banana fruits etc., are to be given up, For the purpose of increasing the potency of mercury, the following should always be avoided:—curd, condensed milk, sugar-cane juice, sugar, and all sorts of things having a cooling effect on the body. After discontinuing the taking of mercury, it is desirable that the patient should take for some time brihati fruits and vilba fruits. These are the general rules relating to the eating of mercury.

(2)

The violation of the rules relating to the taking of mercury, as referred to above, results in a failure to digest the mercury, accompanied by a colic pain on the lower part of the navel, inactivity, drowsiness, lethargy, fever, shortness of eyesight, pains all over the body, aversion to food, and inflammation of the whole body. To remove such symptoms, one should take, for three days, suvarchala salt, with cow’s urine and the juice of karkati root, or the juice of matulunga mixed with saindhava salt, and shunthi (dried ginger). A man who takes by mistake mercury containing lead or tin, should take saindhava mixed with cow’s urine and the tuber of karabella; or a decoction of karkoti, guduchi, haritaki, and sharapunksha, prepared by boiling the things with cow’s urine, to fee reduced to one eighth its quantity and mixed with saindhava.

A man attains success in taking mercury, if, prior to his so doing, he prepares his system in a manner described above, viz by purgation, vomiting etc.; otherwise, the action leads to death.

(3)

Indigestion of mercury is followed by colic in the navel, drowsiness, lethargy, fever, aversion to food, dullness, constipation, and inflammation. This is remedied by taking for three days decoction of tuber of karkati; or cow’s urine mixed with sauvarchala salt or root of matulunga mixed with powdered shunthi and saindhava. To remedy the evil effects due to the taking of mercury mixed with lead, one should take the root of karabella mixed with saindhava. The same purpose is served, if a little of bandhya karkotaka flower and garudi root is taken with cow’s urine. Mercury is purged out of the body by taking a good deal of sour, pungent, and bitter things.[5] Mercury looses its potency by an excess of sour and salty things being taken. One who takes mercury should avoid taking meal only once a day, in as much as abstinence from food destroys appetite, with the result that the mercury is not absorbed in the system, leading to the failure of mercury to cure disease. The potency of mercury is therefore to be increased by a splendid diet. Practices, forbidden before, should be avoided by all means at the time of taking mercury. Diets which have the effect of purging mercury out of the body should be avoided very carefully. Those articles of food stuff which cause a loss of appetite should also be avoided.

(4)

The ailments due to an improper use of mercury may be removed by the use of sulphur, duly purified. (For purification of sulphur, see vol. II.)

(5)

Rasakarpura or white mercury, if not prepared in the prescribed manner, gives rise to leprosy, gout, and excess of phlegm. It is therefore to be prepared and taken very carefully.

Ailments due to the use of rasakarpura, prepared in an improper way, are removed by taking with water, the watery portion of the stool of a she-buffalo, or dhanya mixed with sugar candy.

(6)

Rasasindura, prepared out of impure mercury, gives rise to all the evil effects of using mercury, not purified in the manner described before. These evils are remedied by taking clarified butter with powdered maricha for seven days.

A man who takes mercury, in accordance with the procedure laid down above, becomes free from senility and death, and acquires a very handsome physique with a steadiness of procreative energy, and development of intelligence, beauty, and physical strength. Mercury gives rise to immunity from diseases, buoyancy of the heart and of the body, cheerfulness, appetite, power of digesting heavy diet, and nutrition.

There is no better medicine than mercury, no greater god than Mahadeva, no better friend than physician, and no better deed than gift.

Kanta iron, abhra, svarna-makshika, hiraka (diamond), gold, and incinerated mercury—all these are to be rubbed for one week with kanji and made into a ball, which will have to be coated all over with a paste made of gojihva, kakamachi, haritaki, nirgundi, honey, and saindhava. This is then to be subjected to heat by means of a bhudhara-yantra, heated by fuel made of khadira wood. The crucible to be used for this purpose should be coated all over its inner part with a paste made of barley, tamarind, ashes of palasha wood, bibhitaki, rajika (rye), cotton seeds, and tanduliyaka. Powdered alum and white glass are to be gradually put into the crucible, from time to time, so long as the heating continues. In this way, the ball gets dried in fifteen days. The gold used in this case is to be incinerated by means of an equal quantity of bida being mixed with it at the time of its being heated in a crucible.

This ball, if held for one year inside the mouth, serves to restore a dying man to life and strength, and to make the body so strong as to baffle the enemies’ arms, and to cure senility.

Incinerated mercury, mixed with an equal quantity of incinerated svarna-makashika, is nutritive. Incinerated mercury, if taken with clarified butter, honey, juice of satabari, and milk, increases sexual desire, It gives an unusual power of sexual activity, if taken with the juice of red agastya flower, juice of black banana, and essence of mica.

Controllers of mercury.

The following, with their respective flowers, roots, and leaves, are what are called the controllers of mercury:—gandhanakuli, banyakarkoti, kanchuki, jamachinchika (unripe tamarind), satabari, sankhapuspi, sharapunkha, svetapunarnava, mandukaparni, hilamachika, brahmadandi, juthika, anantamula, kakajangha, kakamachi, kapotika, aparajita, pitajhinti, prasarini, pitabala, svetabala, nagabala, murba, chakramarda, karanji, patha, bhumiamalaki, nili, ghosha, padmacharini, ghanta-patali, gokshura, gojihva, kokilaksha, meghanada, akhuparni, kshirini, tripusha, meshasringi, black tulasi, kantakari, and sveta-aparajita.

The following vegetables, called the controllers of mercury, are used in the bhavana, and boiling of mercury, and also in plastering crucibles for use in mercurial operations:—gandhanakuli, kshirini, indrabaruni, hilamochika, sankhapuspi, kaka-jangha, apamarga, bbargi, akhuparni, punarnaba, kanchuki, durva, sveta-jhinti, utpalam, shimbi, satabari, asthisanhara, banya-surana, agnikarni, sveta-arka, shobhanjana, dhuttura, mrigadurba, kadali, rakta-alu, nirgundi, lajjalu, devadali, mandukaparni, nagaballi, chitraka, grishmasundara, kakamachi, maharastri (kanchata), haridra, tilaparni, jati, jayanti, shridevi, bhukadamba, kusumbha, koshataki, jalapippali, langali, katutumbi, chakramarda, guduchi, suranam, surjabarta, sharapunkhi, barahikanda, and hasti-shundi.

The following are the drugs which are to be used in the killing of mercury. Not less than eighteen of these drugs are to be used, jointly or separately, in the operations leading to the incineration of mercury:—brahmadandi, tanduliyaka, chitraka, musta, asthisanhara, bala, shunthi, katutumbi, ardhachandra (karnasphota), bishamusti, arka, laksha, gokshura, kakatundi, kanya, chandalini, shuranam, sharapunkha, basta, gandhanakuli, raktagra (raktarka? or raktalu?), nirgundi, lajjalu, devadali, jati, jayanti, barahi, bhukadamba, jhinti, koshataki, jalapippali, langali. prasarini, chakramarda, guduchi, shurana, kakamachi, suryabhakta, aparajita, hastishundi, snuhi, bhringaraja, and patu (saindhava salt).

Killers of mercury.

The following are the killers of mercury:—They are to be used by the adept in causing swoon and incineration of mercury. All of them, or half their number, or at any rate, not less than eighteen of them, may be used either jointly or separately:—Musta, bacha, chitraka, gokshura, katutumbi, danti, jati, gandhanakuli, sarapunkha, kanya, chandalini, shurana, bishausti, asthisanhara, lajjalu, devadali, laksha, prasarini, kadamba (balaka, according to another version), pippali, nirgundi, kasamarda, langali, mana (shala, according to another version), arka, shomaraji, surya-bhakta, kakamachi, sveta-arka, aparajita, kakatundi, snuhi, bala, shunthi, koshataki, jayanti, barahi, hastishundi, rambha, brahmi, jamachincha, haridra, daru-haridra, svetapunarnava, raktapunarnava, dhuttura, kakajangha, shatabari, kanchuki, bandhya, karkotaki, tila, mandukaparni, durba, murba, haritaki, tulasi, gokshura, akhuparni, karkatikanda, bargalata, mushali, hingu, guduchi, shigru, sveta-aparajita, jalapippali, bhringaraja, saindhava, sarani, somalata, sveta-sarshapa, ashana, godhapadi, byaghrapadi, palasha, bhallataka, and indrabaruni.

Gandhanakuli, kshirini, bandhyakarkati, brahmi, sharapunkha, kakajangha, maurashikha, (nilakantha, or moragphul), brahmadandi, akhuparni, punarnaba, kanchuki (khirisha), murba (suchamukhi), saindhava salt, utpala, chinchika, shatabari, astisanghara, bajrakanda, gokshura, mandukaparni, patali, chitraka, grishmasundara, kakamachi, jalapippali, haridra, tilaparnika, svetarka, shigru, dhuttura, mrigadurba, haritaki, guduchi, mushali, sarapunkha, bhringaraja, raktachitraka, tagara, shurana, mundiri, kasta-udumbara, karanja, kokilaksha, saindhava, svetapunarnaba, sambara salt, hingu, madhu, aparajita, somalata, langali, bata, byaghrapadi (bikankata), godhapadi, brishchikali, jhinti, mashaparni-krishnajira, hastishundi, indrabaruni, and seeds of arka. All of them, or at least 18 of them, are to be used, jointly or separately, in the transformation, incineration (bhasmikarana), and entanglement of mercury.

Footnotes and references:

1.

another reading—bhekaparni.

2.

The dhatus are the seven essential substances composing the human system.

3.

Powdered rice immersed for some time in four times its weight of water gives rise to rice water.

4.

This refers to the taking of mercury alone, purified or incinerated, and does not apply to medicines containing mercury with other metals.

5.

The allopaths who have been using “makaradhvaja” should take note of this. Administration of Makaradhvaja and quinine at the same time, is found to be not only abortive but pernicious also.

Conclusion:

Rasasastra category This concludes ‘Incineration of mercury (bhasmikarana)’ included in Bhudeb Mookerjee’s Rasa Jala Nidhi, vol 1: Initiation, Mercury and Laboratory. The text includes treatments, recipes and remedies and is categorised as Rasa Shastra: an important branch of Ayurveda that specialises in medicinal/ herbal chemistry, alchemy and mineralogy, for the purpose of prolonging and preserving life.

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